Northwestern students prepare for fall Chicago Marathon

Sammy Caiola

Corey Goodwin left Elder Hall one day last quarter to go on one of the several five-mile runs she completes each week.

About 13 miles later the Weinberg freshman was at the Willis Tower in downtown Chicago.

Goodwin said she made the trip unintentionally. Now she’s registered for October’s Chicago Marathon to challenge herself.

“It was really fun and completely spontaneous,” Goodwin said. “I just started running and ended up at the Sears Tower. Most people think I’m crazy, but my friends know I just do stuff like this.”

Goodwin, among others, will spend much of spring quarter training for the typically six-hour athletic event.

The marathon, to be held on October 9th, starts on Monroe Drive and loops 26 miles back to Roosevelt Road. Runners must be at least 17 years old to register and must pay a $145 registration fee.

Registration is now closed. The marathon has already reached its 45,000 participant limit.

Brett Petersen, who serves as head coach for NU’s triathlon team, said this feat should not be attempted by students without a few years of long-distance experience. He suggests starting with shorter distances and eventually working up to half marathons and 20-mile runs.

The three most important things to keep in mind while training are gradually building mileage, focusing on nutrition and purchasing adequate equipment, Petersen said. While the Chicago marathon used to be seen as an event only for professional athletes, Petersen said any athlete can do it with the right training.

“It’s very common for students to participate in the marathon,” Petersen said. “People see that it’s not an unattainable feat to do the marathon with the proper training. It’s both a challenging but attainable goal.”

Richard Barbera, sponsorship chair for the triathlon club, said finishing the Chicago marathon last year was the proudest moment of his running career. He followed a training program of three runs a week with longer runs of up to 20 miles on the weekend.

“When you finish, no matter what your time was you feel like you’ve accomplished something huge. Running that marathon has definitely shaped who I’m becoming as an athlete and who I want to be.”

This year, the McCormick sophomore is raising the bar and training for an Iron Man in July, which consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and then a marathon after that. He has been training 16 hours a week and expects to be in marathon shape by July. He will run the marathon again in October.

“It takes a lot of time management skills in order to fit in the training plus class work, plus just having fun and sleeping,” Barbera said. “It has put a strain on the free time that I’d have, but triathlon is a lot of fun for me and kind of a break from everything else that’s going on.”

While Barbera is working to improve his endurance, Goodwin is incorporating charity work into her marathon experience. She has pledged to raise $1,400 for World Vision, an organization that aids impoverished children in Africa and Latin America. In addition to training this spring, she will also be asking family and friends to sponsor her.

“I did a 30-hour fast with (World Vision) in high school, and it really got me thinking about helping people,” Goodwin said. “So I decided to run for them.”

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